I’d always struggled with being who people wanted me to be.
I’d go into a room and try to figure out if people wanted me to lead, follow, be funny, be serious, hold my tongue, be the life of the party. I didn’t realize I was doing this with the other areas of my life too. I followed career paths based on who the biggest influence in my life at the time wanted me to be. I’d tone down my love for Jesus with certain groups of people to maintain the peace. I’d look for the mold and then try to fit myself in it.
Whether it was all at once or a slow transition, I didn’t know who I was anymore. I couldn’t access the truth of my own feelings, thoughts, dreams. I couldn’t even access God’s truth over my life and I felt stuck in a wifi-less forest with no maps or coordinates. I wanted to know who I really was who God created me to be and what he had to say about me.
I heard God’s quiet whisper in my heart, “There’s more to you than what other people think about you.” And that thought propelled me into a journey of finding my identity in Him that has turned into a full fledged mission to see others come to know their true identity and the voice of their Father. When I stopped caring as much about what someone thought of me, I could actually start caring about them. And God’s radical love took over my life.
My heart is to see a generation of women so secure in their identity as beloved daughters of God that fear of man, fear of the future, fear of failure, all insecurity and anxiety have to go. To see women so in love with Jesus that they are free to dream, take risks, radically love, and live with passion and purpose in the life God has for them..
A woman walking in her identity in Christ is a powerful weapon in the hands of God.
Dana-Marie Kirkland is the Creative Director and a worship leader at Bethel Chandler. She and her husband, Lucas, live in Gilbert, Arizona with their two daughters: Lila and Everly.